Former One Laptop Per Child President Walter Bender has formed a nonprofit called Sugar Labs, which will advance the Sugar graphical interface he originally created for the low-cost computing project.
Sugar Labs will partner with developers of Sugar-compatible applications and other hardware makers that want to use the user interface on their devices.
"By being independent of any specific hardware platform and by remaining dedicated to the principles of free and open-source software, Sugar Labs ensures that others can develop diverse interfaces and applications from which governments and schools can choose," Bender wrote on the Sugar Labs Web … Read more
So, I guess this makes it Two Operating Systems Per Child.
The One Laptop Per Child project and Microsoft announced Thursday that indeed the XO laptop will be available in both Linux and Windows varieties. The companies plan to sell a Windows-powered XO in five or six countries starting next month, with a broader release in August or September.
"We view it as a major opportunity for OLPC to expand and expand in a couple of ways," OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte told CNET News.com in an interview Thursday. "One is to have a broader acceptance in … Read more
Boingboing is reporting that Microsoft is forcing OEMs into using artificially low hardware specifications. Even if you erroneously believe that OLPC is simply a matter of price tag, Microsoft's actions are puzzling, to say the least. Well, as long as you imagine that Microsoft is in it for the kids.
As Cory Doctorow notes:Microsoft is trying to distort the market for cheap, tiny laptops by setting up artificial incentives to manufacturers to limit the power and capability of their lowest-cost units -- even if a vendor can figure out how to put more storage, a bigger screen, or a touchscreen into its machines, Microsoft doesn't want it there, and they'll punish any vendor that tries by refusing to license XP Home Edition on the same preferential terms that lower-spec machines get.
Why would Microsoft do this? More pertinently, why would OLPC sell out its ideals? IDG News Service suggests that Microsoft is trying to prevent cannibalization of its mainstream desktop market. That is an understandable goal, but not necessarily a laudable one given Microsoft's alleged intention to play fair with OLPC. I suspect something more is involved here.… Read more
Is Nicholas Negroponte's capitulation to Windows last month due largely to a lack of open-source community involvement in the One Laptop Per Child project?
According to Groklaw:OLPC hoped for contribution from the community to its interface, Sugar, but this has not happened much. Partly that's because OLPC has not structured its development so as to reach out to the community for help--which means, when viewed in constructive terms, that OLPC can obtain more contribution by starting to do this.
Basically, Negroponte's decision to embrace Windows comes down to a belief that when community fails, default to whatever proprietary vendor makes the best interface. (If this is the case, Negroponte would have done well to choose the Mac's interface, but I digress...)
This is a weak-kneed, wrong-headed way for Negroponte--the founder and chairman of OLPC--to attempt to resolve the problem. It will only serve to perpetuate the very problem OLPC was designed to solve, as Groklaw writes:… Read more
As this week drew to a close I whipped out my trusty Magic 8 Ball and asked it: "Will there ever be an end to the little-laptop news?" And the Magic 8 Ball replied: "My sources say no."
Those are some reliable sources, because the tiny laptops just kept coming this week. For example, we learned the OLPC XO laptop may switch from Linux to Windows XP. The Asus Eee PC 900, the 9-inch version of everyone's favorite super cheap portable, got an official launch date (May 12) and an official price ($549). Little-known U.… Read more
The chairman and founder of the One Laptop Per Child initiative said in an interview Tuesday that the XO laptop may switch from using Linux to eventually running Windows XP, according to several reports.
In an interview with the Associated Press following the departure of the OLPC project's president, Nicholas Negroponte said the open-source Sugar software, developed expressly for the XO, could run on top of XP. Negroponte cited weaknesses in the XO's current open-source operating system (right now the XO can't support the latest versions of Flash animation) as well as the Linux community itself (for … Read more
More low-cost laptops are headed to a retailer near you.
Intel plans on expanding the distribution of its inexpensive, school children-friendly Classmate PC to U.S. and European retail outlets, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.
The Classmate will sell for $250 to $350, Lila Ibrahim, general manager of Intel's emerging market platform group, told Reuters. Apparently Intel has already been conducting pilot programs using the devices in classrooms in the U.S. and Australia.
Though the Classmate is already available on the retail markets of India, Mexico, and Indonesia, this will be the first time the device … Read more
SAN DIEGO, Calif.--The citizens of Serrana, Brazil, are not waiting around for Intel or Nicholas Negroponte to deliver low-cost PCs to their school children. Instead, they're taking the matter into their own hands.
Starting at the end of this month, the Serrana Digital Desk project will get underway when 200 surface PCs that transform into desktop PCs will be placed in classrooms in the city of 45,000. It's a trial run of a new, very local program that is intended to give kids computers in the classroom while involving as many community members as possible in … Read more